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The locally owned convenience store chain is no stranger to rising prices, as it's been dealing with soaring prices for commodities such as oil, wheat, corn and even coffee. Stewart's Shops officials said the increasing cost of food, fuel and other items puts pressure on employees.
"We watch the economy, and the need for some short-term cash really became evident," company spokesman Tom Mailey told the newspaper.
The raises take effect the week of April 18, and amount to a $1.25-million payroll investment. Mailey noted the raises are an investment in employees who contribute to Stewart's success.
"This 25 cents an hour doesn't solve everything, but we are fortunate to be in a position to help," Stewart's Shops President Gary Dake said in a prepared statement.
This pay increase goes beyond normal raises and the company's profit-sharing plan. Stewart's Shops distributes 20 percent of its earnings to the plan, which totaled $12 million in 2010. There are 2,900 participants, who together own a third of the company, the report noted.